Sky Music Mike Mandel

£11.50

Availablity:
World
Genre:
Fusion
Label:
Vanguard
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
VCD 79409

Mike Mandel’s “Sky Music” was one of the first contemporary jazz fusion albums I ever bought. It was a dark autumn Friday evening back in 1978 when I took a trip into Manchester and a visit to my favourite soul shop, Spin Inn, on Cross Street. This was a regular haunt for me, a store which stocked all the new US releases and more. I came across “Sky Music” when fingering through the new jazz albums.

Mike Mandel’s “Sky Music” was one of the first contemporary jazz fusion albums I ever bought. It was a dark autumn Friday evening back in 1978 when I took a trip into Manchester and a visit to my favourite soul shop, Spin Inn, on Cross Street. This was a regular haunt for me, a store which stocked all the new US releases and more. I came across “Sky Music” when fingering through the new jazz albums.

Mandel grew up in the rural community of Yakama in Washington some 50 miles from his childhood friend Larry Coryell. They recorded music as the Checkers in 1960 with Larry writing one side and Mike the other. Not many people knew Mike was blind. He had been born with a small amount of vision but was totally blind by the age of nine. He played and toured with Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House project back in ’74 and recorded live music at Montreux.

“Sky Music” was recorded at Vanguard’s 23rd Street Studios in New York City in the spring of 1978, using some of the hottest players on the New York scene at that time, including guitarist Steve Khan, saxophonists George Young and David Sanborn. The album was a funky synthesiser-led jazz fusion set with great grooves and melody. I remember DJ Noel Edmonds played ‘Jupiter Fingers’ on his Radio One Sunday show as a talkover bed.

“Sky Music” has so many musical memories for me from the funky groove of ‘Pyramids’ to the sensitive rendition of Billy Joel’s ‘Just The Way You Are’, the subtle ‘Elephant & Castle’, to the high energy funky vibes of ‘Jupiter Fingers’ and my personal favourite, Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’ with the unmistakable sax of David Sanborn. It sounds as fresh as ever!

Mike Mandel recorded a follow-up to “Sky Music” called “Utopia Parkway” which hopefully we will reissue at some point in the future. To be able to blow the dust off this album and bring it to CD for the first time is a true pleasure for me. Music is the tapestry of life and “Sky Music” was and is a part of my life.

By STEVE QUIRK
Fusion Flavours
www.jazzfm.com

Track listing

Side 1

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